on Women's Health Issues
Cities and Women's Health:
Dr. Amy Gutmann
University of Pennsylvania
Although much is known about the health of women, the practice of public health and the health impact of living in urban environments—less is known about the intersection of these three subjects: urban women’s health. Urban populations are growing at an unprecedented pace. Life in an urban environment with all of its specific social and structural characteristics has undeniable impact on the health and well-being of urban populations, especially of urban women who suffer the most from environmental degradation and lack of essential health services. Amidst the issues surrounding global urban development, we are only beginning to understand that women often bear the heavier burden of these problems due to gender inequities in society, more limited education than men, and a general lack of awareness among urban developers and policy makers of the unique needs of urban women.
In addition, women face myriad health issues with gender-specific influences and which are best served by gender-specific responses including cancer, obesity, hypertension, osteoarthritis, diabetes, and depression. These issues are often exacerbated by challenges that all urban dwellers face, including air, water and land pollution; sedentary lifestyles and diminished space and opportunities for physical activity; traffic accidents; exposure to stress and violence; and limited access to healthy and fresh foods.
To address these issues, the University of Pennsylvania in partnership with the International Council on Women’s Health Issues (ICOWHI), will convene ICOWHI’s 18th Congress on women’s health issues, titled “Cities and Women’s Health: Global Perspectives” on April 7th to the 10th 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
The overall purpose of this leading edge, solution driven conference is to establish a dialogue about contemporary issues that women face in cities that impact their health and life experiences. National and international participants will be actively involved in three days of dialogue, planning and networking in response to keynote and panel presentations. Expert speakers in the fields of urban design, health sciences, health policy, law, social policy, education and sociology among others will identify and critically analyze best practices and new strategies to enhance women’s health in cities as well as foster new paradigms of scholarship and practice that integrate environment and health care.